Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Better the screwer than the screwee

Getting screwedI am getting fed-up with the news that is reported on the on-going GE. The news is getting stale. Last night, I get bombarded again with at least 15 minutes of reporting on the Gomez affair. The Elections Department video was screen again (ad naseum), and George Yeo repeated the points he has made previously over the affair. The only thing new is MM Lee weighing in on the affair, but its the same affair, the same issues, the same party, the same attempt at psycho-analysis.

I agree with Low Thia Kiang. Why is the PAP so 'lo so', like a long-winded grandmother or grandfather who keeps on harping on the same old issue time after time? If it was the other way around, with the Opposition harping on a PAP candidate's mistake, I'd imagine the PAP lambasting them for having nothing else to say, no substance, no real issues to talk about, empty. Somehow, it comes across differently with the PAP.

The more I hear the PAP harping on the issue, the more I get the feeling that either they have nothing else they want to talk about, or they are trying their level best to make Gomez a pariah, or both. (The Opposition will use the word 'martyr', I believe). Nobody is perfect. People make mistakes, people wrongly accuse the innocent. Their intent may even be dishourable. But don't we always teach our children to apologise if they have done wrong? Don't we tell them that this will settle the matter? But no, the PAP are not children. They are giant babies and big bullies throwing a big tantrum, refusing apologies, psychoanalysing and picking for a fight. When will they grow up, you wonder?

Yes, perhaps the PAP is right, that this incident points to some failing on the part of Gomez, and even the Workers Party organisation and approach, if you psycho-analyse this deep enough, like what Mr Wong Kan Seng has done. But the part about it being a conspiracy, the detail analysis of the video? I think Mr Wong has exceeded himself this time. Film students should take note of the masterly dissection, analysis and interpretation of a video. Nobody could have done better than the PAP machinery. Now I understand why even the new PAP candidates, not to speak of the general populace, are SO reluctant to come into politics. When you get screwed, you really get screwed. But the new PAP candidates are smart. They weighed their options and decided that it is better to be the screwer than the screwee.

But is the PAP suggesting that all PAP candidates are saints who are incapable of making mistakes? If the PAP keeps at this, it will begin to haemoragh votes to the Opposition (if it has not already happened, that is). George Yeo should take special note. There is something called 'street sympathy' where people will side with the original bully they see being bullied and beaten even after an apology was made.

Who, except the PAP themselves, can see that this is unjust? And they dare say that their slate of new candidates have a mind of their own. Why are these independently minded, carefully selected, professional and successful new PAP candidates so SILENT now? Don't they see anything wrong in this incessant hammering of an opposition candidate over an issue which is not even central to election issues? Don't they disagree with Wong Kan Seng that there is something sinister in what otherwise looks like an honest mistake? Do they swallow hook, line and sinker Wong Kan Seng's analysis as the only valid version of events? Don't they see anything else worth talking about? The Opposition is right. We need REAL alternative voices in Parliament, and they don't wear white. Even before the new PAP candidates take their seats in Parliament, they are already a white-wash.

On the other hand, what this incident has highlighted is Low Thia Khiang's even-handed handling of the situation. With increased press and media coverage he has been given, I am beginning to form a very favourable impression of him. I am sure he will retain his Hougang seat. I wished he was leading a GRC. He would win that also. But then, who is to say that Sylvia Lim's team won't win, in spite of James Gomez?


Anonymous said...

There is this "thing" called
Benefit of Doubt to be given to James?

Epilogos said...

True, true. Unlike the PAP, Gomez should be given the benefit of the doubt. But somehow, I get the feeling that the PAP doesn't very much like Gomez (probably from some of his past activities at Think Centre?), so they are trying to bump him off no matter what it takes.